I don’t think I ever saw brussels sprouts on the dinner menu growing up, but I feared them nonetheless. Hearing my elementary school classmates describe being forced to eat them was enough.
So maybe it’s a good thing that my first memorable experience with brussels sprouts was a few years ago, when I was part of a CSA and one week found myself with a bunch of them still on the stalk. Fridge space was limited, so I cooked them immediately. And as it turns out, brussels sprouts are delicious! Especially when given a good dose of butter and garlic and a sprinkling of pine nuts to bring out their sweet, nutty flavor.
I’ve tried to grow them every year since, and always end up with big beautiful stalks but no sprouts (they’re hard to grow in Colorado but I’ll get the timing right, someday.) So I get them from the farmer’s market once in a blue moon, but usually I can only find sprouts that are flown in from California or Mexico. Friends on the West Coast, I envy you.
But if you find yourself in possession of some sprouts, these crunchy, buttery little bites are perfect as an appetizer with a cold beer. They rarely make it to the dinner table in my house (although they make a great side dish, when they do.) I’ve won over a number of sprout-haters with this recipe, and I like to think it’ll work the same magic on any picky eaters you happen to be feeding.
- 1/4 pound brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons raw pine nuts
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 10-inch heavy skillet, preferably cast iron
- Peel any blemished or dirty outer leaves from brussels sprouts while rinsing in cold water.
- Trim off stems and halve lengthwise.
- Thinly slice garlic cloves.
- Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add garlic, removing pieces to a bowl as they turn golden brown.
- Reduce heat to low and arrange brussels sprouts in skillet, cut side down
- Sprinkle with pine nuts and season with salt and pepper
- Cook, uncovered, until undersides are golden brown, about 15 minutes
- As brussels sprouts brown, use tongs to move them to a platter (you may need to move undercooked sprouts from the edge of the pan to the center to even out cooking time.)
- Spoon pine nuts over brussels sprouts and season with pepper.
Adapted from Gourmet.